updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed June 25, 2008
Vodafone iPhone pre-regs
Vodafone India has already begun taking pre-registrations on the iPhone 3G, according to an announcement. The move is unusual in that the company has yet to disclose a final release date for the device, although rival Bharti Airtel is expected to release it on July 11th along with the initial wave of iPhone 3G deployments. Bharti has not formally announced any iPhone plans, including any registration campaigns.
Problematic for both companies is that the new phone will not have a 3G network to operate on. The Indian government has yet to finalize guidelines on an auction of 3G frequencies and licenses, meaning that iPhone owners will be forced to run on 2 or 2.5G technology for months or years. One major obstacle is said to be whether foreign companies will be eligible for bidding on 3G spectrum.
It is meanwhile rumored that in the UK and Ireland, O2's pre-registration is set to begin on July 1st. The goal is to alleviate traffic due to Apple's mandatory in-store activation policy, and as a result people will allegedly be able to visit an O2 store early, run through credit checks, and have a "paused" contract put in place. To get a phone working on launch day, shoppers will simply have to supply a registration code when picking up the device.